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Oakland (49-53) «110010003690
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Swisher's two homers, Haren's arm keep Mariners reeling

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Nick Swisher quieted the fans at Safeco Field on Thursday night. Twice.

Swisher hit two home runs - the second a screamer that nearly dented the foul pole -- to back Dan Haren, and the Oakland Athletics beat Seattle 6-2 on Thursday night to extend the Mariners' losing streak to a season-high seven games.

Swisher clanged his second homer off the left-field pole to break open a 3-2 game in the ninth off George Sherrill, after Chris Reitsma had walked consecutive batters.

"It was hooking. I felt like doing a Carlton Fisk," Swisher said after his eighth multiple-homer game, and fourth time he'd homered from each side of the plate in the same game.

So much for that 4-for-30 slump Swisher brought into Thursday.

"Yeah, thank you for bringing that up," he said, smiling.

Earlier, Mark Ellis and Swisher each hit their 12th homers off Jeff Weaver (2-9), who lost his third consecutive start despite allowing only three runs in 7 1/3 innings.

Seattle hasn't won since closing to within one game of the Los Angeles Angels for the AL West lead on July 20. The Mariners are on their longest losing streak since an 11-game skid effectively ended their season last August.

But they are only four games out now, with three more against Oakland preceding three with the Angels at home next week.

When asked if his team was fortunate to still be in the race, Seattle manager John McLaren said, "I guess we are. But it's all about us. We've got to get us going."

Afterward, the only sound inside Seattle's nearly empty and lifeless clubhouse was a rumbling air conditioner.

A frustrated Jose Guillen, volatile with other teams in past years, sat at his locker and barked obscenities barely under his breath to coach Mike Goff, who appeared to be consoling his slugger after his 1-for-4 night. When approached minutes later, Guillen shook his head, whispered, "Not today," and then walked off to read his mail.

Across the room, Raul Ibanez tried perspective.

"It's all cyclical. At the end of the season -- as long as we're winning again -- this will all be forgotten," the struggling left fielder said after going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. He knows his team had already endured two losing streaks of six games each before surging to 15 games above .500.

Then came this pratfall.

"This is a good club. We are going to win," Ibanez said. "You don't win the division in July."

Haren, the American League's ERA leader, allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings to actually raise his ERA from 2.41 to 2.42. He struck out seven and walked two in his longest outing since June 20.

Oakland, four games under .500, won for the third time in four games -- all against the top two teams in its division.

"These games are like the playoffs for us," Haren said.

Haren (12-3) allowed a home run by Richie Sexson in the fifth, then stranded the tying run at third base in the sixth by striking out Jose Vidro.

Huston Street, who returned Monday from two months on the disabled list, pitched a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation. It was his second appearance as he continued to work up to regaining his closer duties.

Ellis sent Weaver's fourth pitch of the second inning deep into Oakland's bullpen beyond left field to make it 2-0, prompting boos that were reminiscent of when Weaver began the season 0-6 with an ERA over 14.00.

Sexson made it 2-1 in the bottom of the second by hitting a thigh-high, 3-1 pitch just over the wall in right-center field. It was Sexson's third hit in 20 at-bats against Haren.

But Swisher answered that in the fifth by homering off Weaver on a full-count, 80 mph floater that drifted high across the middle of the plate. Weaver just grimaced and shook his head at that huge mistake.

Seattle closed back to within 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth, but blew a chance to tie. Yuniesky Betancourt led off with a single, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Adrian Beltre's RBI single. Guillen singled to set up a first-and-third chance for Vidro. But Vidro swung over consecutive pitches to end the inning

Weaver has won just twice in nine starts since returning from a month on the DL, despite having allowed three runs or less in eight of those games. He allowed seven hits, with three walks and three strikeouts.

Upon hearing he pitched well but lost again, one of the heroes of St. Louis' win in last October's World Series scoffed a laugh.

"Ha! I'm just looking for a win - period," Weaver said. "This is a tough stretch for us all."

Notes

  • Before the game, manager Bob Geren said Street would need perhaps two or three games before getting the closer job back from Alan Embree, who has 11 saves in 13 chances.
  • Beltre doubled and singled off Haren and is 15-for-31 (.484) against him. "He has been my kryptonite," Haren said.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Nick Swisher snaps a 4-for-30 slump with two homers, hitting one apiece from each side of the plate.  (AP)
Nick Swisher snaps a 4-for-30 slump with two homers, hitting one apiece from each side of the plate. (AP)

Players of the Game
Oakland

N. Swisher
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 2
RBI 4
Oakland

D. Haren
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 2
BB 2
K 7
 
Oakland Athletics
Travis Buck, RF4000132 .279
Nick Swisher, 1B5334002 .257
Jack Cust, LF4010010 .252
    Shannon Stewart, LF1000000 .307
Mike Piazza, DH4021000 .305
Eric Chavez, 3B4010002 .240
Mark Ellis, 2B4111002 .260
Mark Kotsay, CF3010100 .226
Marco Scutaro, SS2100201 .240
Kurt Suzuki, C3100104 .192
Totals3469654  
Batting
2B - Mike Piazza (9, Weaver), Mark Kotsay (12, Weaver)
HR - Nick Swisher 2 (13, Weaver, Sherrill), Mark Ellis (12, Weaver)
RBI - Nick Swisher 4 (51), Mike Piazza (16), Mark Ellis (46)
2-OUT RBI - Nick Swisher 4 (25)
Oakland Athletics
Dan Haren (W,12-3) 7722271 2.42
Santiago Casilla (H,6) 1000010 1.30
Huston Street 1100000 2.70
WP - Dan Haren (8)
Pitches-Strikes - Dan Haren 107-67, Santiago Casilla 17-11, Huston Street 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Haren 9-5, Santiago Casilla 1-1, Huston Street 2-1
Batters Faced - Dan Haren 30, Santiago Casilla 3, Huston Street 4
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, CF5010002 .344
Adrian Beltre, 3B3021112 .277
Raul Ibanez, LF3000122 .257
Jose Guillen, RF4010012 .283
Jose Vidro, DH4000014 .299
Richie Sexson, 1B4111010 .205
Kenji Johjima, C4000010 .269
Jose Lopez, 2B4010010 .268
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS3120000 .281
   a- Ben Broussard, PH1000001 .280
Totals3528228  
a-flied out for Betancourt in the 9th
Batting
2B - Adrian Beltre (27, Haren), Jose Lopez (13, Street)
HR - Richie Sexson (17, Haren)
RBI - Adrian Beltre (55), Richie Sexson (53)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Sexson-Betancourt, J. Lopez-Sexson-Betancourt
Seattle Mariners
Jeff Weaver (L,2-9) 7.1733332 5.96
Eric O'Flaherty 1100000 3.27
Chris Reitsma0022200 6.35
George Sherrill 0.2111011 1.44
IBB - Kotsay by Jeff Weaver
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Weaver 117-72, Eric O'Flaherty 9-7, Chris Reitsma 12-4, George Sherrill 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Weaver 8-10, Eric O'Flaherty 2-0
Batters Faced - Jeff Weaver 31, Eric O'Flaherty 3, Chris Reitsma 2, George Sherrill 3
Game Information
Attendance - 34250
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Mark Carlson, First Base - Angel Hernandez, Second Base - Ted Barrett, Third Base - Brian Knight